Feeling hopeful inspires support for social change

Political Psychology 37 (1):89-107 (2014)
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Abstract

Hope is an emotion that has been implicated in social change efforts, yet little research has examined whether feeling hopeful actually motivates support for social change. Study 1 confirmed that hope is associated with greater support for social change in two countries with different political contexts. Study 2 revealed that hope predicts support for social change over and above other emotions often investigated in collective action research. Study 3 replicated this finding using a hope scale and showed the effect occurs independent of positive mood. Study 4 demonstrated experimentally that hope motivates support for social change. In all four studies, the effect of hope was mediated by perceived efficacy to achieve social equality. This research confirms the motivating potential of hope and illustrates the power of this emotion in generating social change.

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